Bonded Rabbits fighting

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Anettie

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Hello, we have to neutered male rabbits. We got them when they were 8 weeks and 10 weeks old. They are just over a year old. They bonded great and have been great bunnies. Yesterday morning my son found them fighting. Hair was everywhere and there was blood on the carpet. He got them separated. We created a pen inside their large enclosure. Monitored them all yesterday and much of today. They were laying up against each other. We are now trying to reintroduce and rebound them. Brought up a small pen and put them in our kitchen. They won't move from the litter box. The black one (Charlie) has been grooming Chester (white one) which is a good sign. Chester though seems quite anxious and scared at times. We have tried feeding them together but they won't get out of the box. Also Charlie's nose doesn't look the best. Anything I should do? Any suggestions would be great. We are pretty new to bunnies and we're shocked that they could start fighting after a year together. We were planning on leaving them in this small enclosure for a couple hours and then back into their bigger pen (it's a large open gated space with a big box they can go into, toy, litter box etc. ). If we don't see any aggression in this small enclosure should they be ok again?
 

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Blue eyes

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I'm assuming they are still intact? It's not uncommon for intact males to fight. It's frankly a wonder they lasted this long (if they are indeed still intact).

Whether or not they bond again is really up to them. But even if they do show positive signs, they will always be at risk of fighting again. If so, it could turn quite serious -- especially if it happens when no one is there to stop them.

What you decide to do is up to you. You could try housing them in separate enclosures but near each other from here on out. Or you could consider having them both neutered and then attempt to bond them again. The neuter will remove the hormones that can cause fights, but there will be no guarantee that they will bond. (It can take up to 6-8 weeks after surgery for those hormones to fully dissipate.) Neutering, though, gives them the best chance of bonding well. I would not recommend allowing them to be together unsupervised any more unless they are neutered and bonded.
 

Anettie

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They were neutered at 6 months. They have sat in the litter box and have groomed each other for almost two hours. We were going to try putting them in their larger enclosure again and feed them and watch them for awhile down there.
 

JBun

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Sometimes these scuffles happen for no apparent reason that can be figured out. It could be a strange sound or smell, one rabbit getting nervous about something and lashing out unexpectedly. And it could be a one time thing or it could reoccur.

Whether or not you will be able to rebond them at all or so soon after a fight, there's no way to know until you've tried and carefully monitor their reactions to each other. If your rabbits are ok in the small enclosure, moving to the large enclosure may work, or it could set off a new scuffle. If you try moving them, just make sure to closely monitor them and be prepared to immediately intervene if there are any signs of possible aggression.

The bun that seems nervous, keep a close eye on his eating to make sure that he's not overly stressed or in pain, causing a reduced appetite and possible GI stasis setting in. You may need a vet to take a look at the nose. If it's not split open then it probably doesn't need stitches, but if your bun has a decreased appetite because of his nose hurting, you may need a prescription for meloxicam. Also keep an eye on it to make sure no infection sets in. And if you haven't done a thorough body check of both rabbits, I would suggest doing so. There can sometimes be hidden injures, especially under the body/belly area.
 

Tessiern

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I had read also that once you know they are ok take them in a small enclosure in the car. They bind over the stress of the car ride.
 

Catlyn

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I had read also that once you know they are ok take them in a small enclosure in the car. They bond over the stress of the car ride.
True, but this has its controversies going around. Some sources state that the car ride is of no real benefit, amounting to empty stress in rabbits that would otherwise be nice without it. (It was said that once the stress wears off things will return to the state before it, if not for worse)
Still, it is mostly for the bun parent to decide, taking into consideration both rabbits' quirks. As an example, i never took Lümi for ( bonding ) car rides unless it was for vets as he had a super sensitive stomach and i didn't want the "stress bonding" method to give him GI stasis or something similar. He was pretty shocked with just the standard bonding.
 
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